My Open Letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on lack of affordable housing for veterans

Below is my open letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer regarding housing for veterans in the area..

Dear Mayor Dyer,

You may remember me. I’m sure one of the kind people in your office can remind you if you happen to come across this correspondence. My family has a history in the area stretching back 40 years, and I proudly represented the Orlando area during my time in the military.

Recently, I was visiting home. My home in Orlando. I was visiting there.

How can it be home if I’m not living there?, you might be asking.

This is because I was priced out a couple of years back. I lost everything trying to stay home and was unsuccessful. Now, I float from job to job in different communities until I try to find a more permanent solution.

My friends have helped me (you may know some of them as well) but the real estate and property management companies in town are hostile, even to a longtime resident like myself. It doesn’t matter if I grew up there. It doesn’t matter what I did. They only want their rent hikes honored.

I’ve worked with advocates in the area, but decision makers continue to side with Orlando real estate. There is no relief coming. We continue to build homeless shelters, and “drop in the bucket” incentivized housing that doesn’t address the volume or immediate needs of many families.

And it also includes the veterans in the area. Other areas in the state have worked on veterans housing but not Orlando. Why?

It is my hope that one day I’ll be able to afford living at home. When I talk to people during my travels I explain the housing situation in our community and they can’t fathom how we’ve neglected those that need help in favor of real estate interests.

Let’s hope that the end of 2023 will yield better solutions, and that many natives to the area like myself can finally return home.


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